I love Instagram and the people that it’s connected me with, but something I’ve always struggled with is the fact that it can give you a false sense of knowing people and connectedness. I know more and more accounts are ditching the curated feeds and posting more real life content, but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that you can share what you want and keep the rest to yourself. Which is everyone’s right, but I think even with the progress that we are making on social media to simply show up as you are, there are still stories behind the squares that will never be told.
I’m someone who always tries to show up on Instagram authentically, but there are still things that don’t translate well to an Instagram story and sometimes there’s no right way to share the fact that your anxiety is so high that day that your heart rate and mind are racing.
This is a big part of the reason that I wanted to start a podcast to make more space for real life conversations, but I thought it would be fun to also put together a list of things that you probably wouldn’t guess about me from following me on social. Some serious and some silly, some short and some long, but let me know if anything totally shocks you!
- My Instagram started as a Beachbody account. I think I’ve gotten rid of all of the evidence of this but you may catch an old photo I forgot to archive. Yup, I was a boss babe earning income from home with my girl gang all while improving my own health and fitness.
- I have 8 tattoos and want more. I have so many in mind that I want to get and there are a lot of cool ways that I want to honor J with future pieces.
- I had gauges in college. And my tongue pierced.
- I love EDM! I watched Ibiza on Netflix when J was sick and I don’t know how to explain it but it changed my life lol. Yes, you read that correctly. A very cheesy chick flick about partying in Ibiza and falling in love with a DJ changed my life. When I heard the soundtrack I discovered a new world of music and nothing was the same.
- I have severe anxiety and PTSD and see a therapist on a weekly basis. I don’t see self-care as optional, it keeps me grounded and quite frankly off of medication.
- I used to get panic attacks often. I was on autopilot when J was sick and suppressed a lot of my emotions because I was just trying to survive another day of treatments and appointments and working full time while being his caretaker full time. When they finally made their way to the surface it usually resulted in a panic attack. Meditation, daily journaling, and facing every emotion (no matter how difficult) has kept me panic attack free for over a year now. Oh and a whole lot of Jesus.
- One of the #1 questions people ask me when they come to my page is what religion I am, especially when I share about LBTQIA+ rights and allyship. I am Christian and I do not stand for any sort of hate or inequality on my page. The same way I need non-Black allies to show up for me, I have to do my part as a cis-gendered heterosexual female to show up for this community.
- I’m really good at saying no to things I don’t want to do, but the problem is I want to do everything.
- I went all of 2019 watching basically zero television. That is random but something I’m really proud of.
- I also went all of 2019 dedicating every Friday night to myself and started to welcome the experience of JOMO (joy of missing out). The space for myself to rest at the end of each week was always what I needed after a long week.
- After my Instagram was a Beachbody account, it was a faith/lifestyle account, then it was kind of nothing because I took nearly a 12 month break from the app.
- Speaking of breaks, I often write from my heart and share on IG when I have something on my heart to share. Some times that means I go a while without posting. I’m really grateful for the community we’ve built that always welcomes me back.
- 11 is my favorite number. I wore it when I played basketball (ooh two for one facts about me). I played basketball for 10+ years and started on the varsity team as a freshman. It’s my favorite party trick because no one ever believes me that I used to hoop.
- The first time J and I connected I knew I was going to be with him. I was 18. When we actually started talking, I knew I would marry him. I was 20. I guess when you know, you know (or I’m crazy).
- My sister was my bone marrow donor when I was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. It’s actually a miracle that she was a 100% match. Even though she is my biological sister, it’s rare to find a match within your family. Because I went through chemotherapy to kill off my bone marrow to make space for my sister’s (v medical terms here), I now have her DNA. We are literally the same person – my blood type even changed.
- Piggybacking on my note about anxiety – I start a lot of projects and quit them because of my obsession with perfection. I can’t look at something and see it as beautiful first, my eye catches what’s wrong before I can see the full picture of beauty. This spills over into every area of my life so when I say that I love myself, know that that didn’t come naturally. Every time I post an IG video story or post, I can sit and analyze it for hours and think about things I could have done differently or worded differently. I’m actively working on gro past this every single day. I’ve seen myself make huge strides in therapy but know I have a long way to go. I look forward to the day that I can walk in freedom from this obsession.
- You can’t trust me when I say I’m going out for just one drink.
- My family called me Ray Ray growing up, then Ray, then Rae. Now all of my friends call me some variation of Rae. Mama Rae, Rae Daddy, Rae Daddy Dollas. There are only a few people in my life who have permission to call me Rach.
- I am the ultimate empath and it makes life truly exhausting.
- My last meal on earth would probably be popcorn, a charcuterie board with extra olives, and of course a glass of rosé.
Anything shock you? It always surprises people that I have such bad anxiety, even though I feel like I’m pretty open about it. Thanks for reading and getting to know me. I’m a pretty open book so feel free to ask me anything in an upcoming IG Q&A.